Let’s face it, our industry sells high dollar critical components or services and making the decision to buy is not easy or fast. We face long sales cycles with often complicated buying processes, committees, and competition.
An established budget and strong marketing strategy allows businesses to sustain those long-term sales cycles, maintain ever-present relationships with their consumers and potential customers, and engage with the competition often offering diverse solutions.
First things first...
You know you need a bigger budget for marketing.
We know you need a bigger budget for marketing.
But, does your boss know?
Here are the dos and don’ts of having that conversation with management.
Do expect to be at least a little nervous. We believe that marketing is a vital aspect of any organization, especially in the aerospace and defense industry. Not to say the whole company is riding on your proverbial “marketing” shoulders, but when marketers do good work and have a good budget, it can not only achieve marketing goals but the business goals as well.
Do your research. The decision-maker in this scenario will likely have objections. You need to be prepared to counter those objections with facts, examples, and solutions. Here are common objections that we have come across:
- “We don’t have the money.”
Expect this objection; it’s management’s job to ensure the correct allocation of funds. As a result, you need to work to define your current problem, outline where the extra funding will go and prove why it’s beneficial to go there and ultimately why that is the only solution that makes sense.
- “Why spend money, when there aren’t guaranteed results.”
Similar to “We don’t have the money,” this objection is a result of not fully demonstrating the value or ROI a better marketing budget and strategy can create. Tip: This is your opportunity to align the ROI of additional marketing funding with the goals of your boss. Why wouldn’t they want to fund a marketing program that made their life easier?
- “Our current team doesn’t have the time to add more marketing responsibilities.”
Solution: Outsource your resources. If management is worried about overloading employees with more responsibilities or taking the time to hire and train a person/team, suggest using an outside agency for support. Keep in mind when looking to outsource, agencies are often one size fits all. For our highly specialized industry, that won’t cut it. Invest in an agency that is exclusive to the aerospace and defense field.
- “This is how we’ve always done it.”
The best way to get around this fear-based objection is to use another fear as a motivator. Specifically, the fear of missing out. FOMO is a scientifically proven phenomenon defined as “A pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.” Compare your organization to others in the aerospace and defense industry, create a sense of urgency, and make your case by proving your competitors have implemented a new idea with success, so you can too!
Do know your audience and their pain points. The reason this conversation is happening is because of a lack of understanding, money, and/or proof. Management often lives in a different world, working with different people and working towards different objectives. Talk through those differences and how they will benefit with your plan.
Don't lie. We hope this one is obvious, but it can be tricky when you don't know the answers to your bosses questions. Be truthful and then let your boss know by when you can get the answer, saying, "Excellent question. I don't have the answer right now, but I can do some more research and get back to you X amount of time.” And then don’t forget to do it.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. When doing your research for expanding budgets and marketing programs, look to the experts. If you have questions about the breakdown of marketing budgets, Google is a vast and vital resource. If you are looking to outsource, communicate with the marketing agency at length and include them when you chat with your boss. If you need more training, find classes online. If you need help pitching your ideas, read “Pitch Anything” by Olan Klaff. If you have questions about your competitors strategy, connect with peers in your network who can answer your questions (Side note: Many companies in the aerospace and defense industry will not only compete, but also end up partnering).
At BDN, we know what it’s like to have these hard conversations proving ideas, expanding budgets and pitching marketing strategy. I would say that we thrive on it, but know it’s not for everyone. If you have any more questions about how to convince management to support and fund a professional marketing program, contact us here.